Pimp: The Story of My Life
by: Iceberg Slim
Iceberg Slim, also known as Robert Beck, was born as Robert Lee Maupin in Chicago, Illinois on August 4th, 1918. He spent much of his childhood in Milwaukee and Rockford, Illinois before returning to Chicago as a teenager.
Check out a look in to one of Americas sculptors of the African American community and lifestyle.
His father having abandoned them, Slim’s mother supported the family by working as a domestic and operating a beauty shop. He credits his mother for having prepared him for the pimp lifestyle by pampering him during his childhood.
Iceberg attended Tuskegee Institute briefly in the mid 1930’s, at the same time Ralph Ellison was there, however they did not know one another. At 18, Robert began his initiation into “the life”, adopting his nom de guerre, “Iceberg Slim” and remained a pimp until age 42, predominantly in the Chicago area. He was incarcerated several times in conjunction with his crimes, including a stretch in Leavenworth and spent a 10 month prison sentence in solitary confinement at Cook County House of Corrections in 1960. It was this last stretch that finally motivated Iceberg to “square up”, and take to writing about his life experiences rather than pursuing a life of crime.
The book has sold over 5 million copies since its release and is the second best-selling book written by a black man, after Alex Haley’s “Roots”
This story is real almost 20th century version of Mark Twains famous “Huckleberry Finn.” His adventure on down the main drag of Chicago reminded me of Huck and his journey down the Mississippi River. The story is reasonable for the birth of America’s urban inner city’s. Iceberg Slim’s vigorous trails to over come oppression. “It speaks of very specific time in America and its street culture. The book is filled with broken souls but shows how in the end, Iceberg found himself and how result he finally healed himself.”
Robert Beck and Iceberg Slim have had major influence on todays pop culture. In recent lyrics spit by some of the Hottest rapper like Fabolous, Lil wayne, Lloyd and many others speak about Goldie the main character of cult classic The Mack. The Mack one of the many black cinema “BlackBuster” influenced by the book. Some people may even remember of a young Jay-z talking about Iceberg slim on albums Reasonable doubt and In My Lifetime Vol. 1 Sparking inspration for the song Who you Wit II off of his Sophmore album In My Lifetime Vol. 1.